In the June 28 gubernatorial primary, Rep. Tom Suozzi lost...

In the June 28 gubernatorial primary, Rep. Tom Suozzi lost decisively, even in his own congressional district. Credit: AP/Craig Ruttle

Daily Point

Suozzi’s CD3 shellacking hits home

Even in a tough election year, Democrat Tom Suozzi might have been widely favored to win a fourth term in Congress had he sought it. Instead, in his run for governor against an empowered, better-funded, centrist incumbent, Kathy Hochul, the results proved punishing — not only statewide but in the 3rd Congressional District where he is best known.

Breakdowns of the June 28 statewide primary results circulated last week show Suozzi lost decisively even in CD3, handing him the thorough defeat his longtime ally, state and Nassau County chairman Jay Jacobs, and other party leaders, repeatedly warned him about.

In the district that sent him to Washington three times, the former two-term Nassau County executive got just 39% of the primary vote, an unofficial total of 6,681. That's 3,000 fewer votes than Hochul (9,681) in the district, which came to 56%. Williams got 923, or 5%.

Suozzi fared worse inside the new boundaries that will apply to the Aug. 23 primary, where overall Democratic turnout was slightly better than the CD3 drawn a decade ago. The new lines remove the easternmost portions of the old CD3 and replace them with communities stretching south. Within those lines, Hochul got 13,352, or 57%; Suozzi 8,565 or 37%; and Williams 1,419, or 6%.

Running to succeed Suozzi in the upcoming primary are Melanie D’Arrigo, the Working Families Party preference who got 26% in a primary against him in 2020; Jon Kaiman, the former North Hempstead Town supervisor and longtime Suozzi ally; Nassau Legis. Josh Lafazan; longtime national party committeeman Robert Zimmerman; and civic activist Reema Rasool.

Members of Lafazan’s team, some of whom volunteered for Suozzi, have made clear in insider circles that they are expecting Lafazan to have Suozzi’s endorsement. That’s presumed to help in a five-way scrum. But Suozzi’s crushing loss for governor eliminates the prospect of his offering useful coattails on the ballot.

If nothing else, Suozzi’s diminished status in the party could illustrate — more than usual — the limits a retiring incumbent faces when trying to steer votes to a would-be successor. But it’s still fairly early, and every endorsement could count, especially if turnout is anemic.

— Dan Janison @Danjanison

Talking Point

On abortion, the return of the 'New York' Republican?

Starting with the tea party movement and right up through the Trump times, the question of whether there is still such a thing as a “New York,” “Rockefeller” or “Country Club” Republican has generated plenty of debate.

On issues like taxes, guns, foreign policy, immigration, environmental regulation, policing and civil rights, the answer can often seem like a full-throated no. New York’s party members, on many issues, could just as easily hail from the Carolinas, and largely toe the national party line.

Take the GOP’s just-minted gubernatorial nominee, Rep. Lee Zeldin. He measures up as a true conservative no matter where in the nation the measuring tape hails from.

But in the State Senate, on the subject of abortion, there is a hearkening back to the moderate days of pro-choice GOP Gov. George Pataki, or Nelson Rockefeller, who led the liberalization of New York’s laws before Roe v. Wade was decided.

Voting to amend the New York Constitution to include abortion protections last weekend were seven GOP senators including all four Long Island GOP senators: Phil Boyle, Mario Mattera, Anthony Palumbo and Alexis Weik.

The three from elsewhere were Mike Martucci (Hudson Valley), Edward Rath (Williamsville) and Sue Serino (Hyde Park).

To change the Constitution, both branches of the legislature must pass the measure in two consecutive sessions and then it goes on the ballot, likely in November 2023, for expected public approval.

Even so, at least some of the Republicans, even as they vote in support of the change, are hedging their bets on public perception.

When Zach Williams, an Albany reporter for the New York Post, posted the fact that the seven Republicans had voted in favor, Boyle tweeted back with: “You mean seven Republicans voted to give New Yorkers the right to vote in a referendum whether an expansion of anti-discrimination laws should be codified into the state constitution.”

The amendment prohibits discrimination based on “race, color, creed or religion.” Lawmakers would add “pregnancy and pregnancy outcomes” to the list to protect abortion rights and adds “sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression” to the list.

— Lane Filler @lanefiller

Pencil Point

A stab at the EPA


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Quick Points

Another safe place shattered

  • A gunman opened fire on a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois, killing at least six people and wounding more than 30 — and further reducing the number of events and places previously imagined to be safe from such slaughters.
  • Uvalde, Texas school district police chief Pete Arrendondo has resigned from his position on the City Council. Finally, a good decision by him.
  • Former President Donald Trump is cracking down on GOP candidates using his name and image in misleading ways to raise money. But Trump routinely sends false emails and misleading fundraising appeals, like one promising a 700% match if you donate now. Good to know there’s a ceiling for how much grifting will be tolerated.
  • House Jan. 6 committee member Rep. Adam Kinzinger said new witnesses are coming forward after former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson’s explosive testimony. For some, it’s surely a game of follow the leader; for others, it’s cover your butt.
  • Asked about Justice Department prosecutors being surprised by Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony, House Jan. 6 committee member Rep. Zoe Lofgren said, “They have subpoena power. They could subpoena Ms. Hutchinson. I’m surprised they had not done so. What are they doing over there?” Good question.
  • Rising GOP star South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem said she would be “shocked” if former President Donald Trump asked her to be his running mate in 2024. Really? After everything else he’s done, you’d be shocked by that?
  • With COVID-19 cases again rising quickly, French officials have “invited” people to return to wearing face masks. Which for all practical purposes means: “Ignore us.”

— Michael Dobie @mwdobie

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